Memory subsystem analysis yields DDR IP performance gains

February 13, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Synopsys' DesignWare DDR Explorer tool carries out performance analysis, and can optimise of address mapping, clock frequency and quality of service for DesignWare DDR memory, yielding as much as a 20% improvement in DDR memory subsystem efficiency in SoC designs

The optimised configuration obtained from DDR Explorer is used for DDR memory controller RTL IP configuration and performance validation, speeding the implementation and verification of the IP. The DesignWare DDR Explorer performance analysis tool enables designers to optimise Synopsys' DesignWare Enhanced Universal DDR Memory Controller (uMCTL2) for performance, power and cost. Designers can analyse their DDR memory subsystem and optimise their architecture to increase efficiency, while achieving a claimed 10x faster turnaround time compared to RTL analysis. With the graphical simulation and analysis provided by DDR Explorer, designers can select the right memory type for the lowest bill of material (BOM) cost and system power. DDR Explorer supports all of the industry standard DRAM interfaces for mobile and enterprise applications, including LPDDR2, LPDDR3, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4.

DDR Explorer integrates a transaction-level architecture model of the DesignWare DDR Enhanced Universal Memory Controller with a graphical simulation and analysis environment that enables designers to define, run and analyse hundreds of scenarios to identify the best memory controller configuration. RTL-based performance checking Synopsys asserts, while required for final validation, typically has longer turnaround times and limits the practical number of design explorations during a project to fewer than 25. DDR Explorer enables thorough performance and power sensitivity analysis for over 250 simulations in the same amount of time. By identifying heavy traffic conditions and bottlenecks, designers can explore the DDR memory controller parameter configurations and register settings to optimise the DDR memory performance. This results in the figure of up to 20% greater memory efficiency, lower power consumption and lower memory cost, without sacrificing other memory performance requirements.